COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team was selected to place eighth in the Northeast-10 Conference's Northeast Division in the preseason coaches' poll, which was released by the league office today and was chosen by the member institutions' head coaches. The Purple Knights received 14 points in the eight-team division, while Southern New Hampshire University, which is ranked 23th in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) preseason poll, placed first with 102 points.
Saint Michael's finished 2-29 last season while posting 2-19 NE-10 and divisional records. Both of the Purple Knights' wins came by 1-0 finals in extra innings, as they knocked off Saint Anselm College in eight innings on April 16 before defeating Merrimack College in nine frames on April 18. Saint Michael's returns 10 from last year's roster and welcomes six newcomers.
Junior Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) led the team with 22 hits and seven walks, while also being one of four batters to belt a home run. She started all 31 games at second base and turned in a .984 fielding percentage on 122 defensive chances. Senior Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) chipped in 21 hits and scored a team-high 11 runs to go along with seven doubles, while classmate Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) provided 18 hits and a team-best 11 RBIs, while starting all 31 games at first base. Sophomore Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) started 27 games in the circle, tossing 15 complete games and striking out 95 batters in 135.2 innings. That was the third-highest strikeout figure by a rookie in program history.
For the 15th straight year, the Purple Knights begin their campaign in Florida, where they will play for a week to begin head coach Robyn Newton's 16th season. Saint Michael's is on the road for its first seven NE-10 contests, beginning March 25 with a three-game series at Bentley University. For their first games at Doc Jacobs Field, the Purple Knights are scheduled for a 10-game homestand, starting April 2 with a doubleheader against Pace University.